BEIJING, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's young lovers rushed to tie the knot Monday on the auspicious date of Valentine's Day.
Long queues of couples formed at marriage registration offices in China's cities, waiting to get their marriage certificates.
"Today is special. We choose Valentine's Day to get married because we believe it will bring us good luck and a happy life," said bride Li Min at a registry in Lanzhou, capital of the northwestern Gansu Province.
Office staff issued marriage certificates to 150 couples in just three hours in the morning, seven or eight times the usual number, said Gao Yi, director of the marriage registration office.
Similar scenes were seen in other cities, such as Guangzhou, Shenyang and Jinan.
Traditionally, Chinese prefer "lucky number" days or festivals to marry, move to a new home or do other "great" things.
In Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, at least 10,000 roses were prepared at the city's 40 flower shops for the Valentine's Day.
A young Tibetan man, Dorje, bought 99 roses for his girlfriend.
"I am happiest when we are together," he said.
But for many single young people, Valentine's Day was uncomfortable.
"I'm afraid of Valentine's Day. Every year my friends always ask 'Why are you still single?'" said white-collar worker Du Jingjing, 27.
"My mom talked about this issue in a very serious manner several days ago, urging me to find a boyfriend and get married soon. I am facing great pressure," she said.
Indeed, the parents often seem more anxious than their offspring.
Thousands of people -- mostly elderly parents -- flocked to a grand matchmaking gathering at Qianlingshan Park in Guiyang, capital of southwest China's Guizhou Province.
"My son is always busy with work and he is getting older and older, but he is still single. I am very anxious," said a mother surnamed Wang.
"I come here specially to find a girl for him. He refuses to come himself," she said.
The prospect of unemployment discouraged many young students, who will graduate from university this summer, from celebrating Valentine's Day.
"My girlfriend has not found a job, and she is a bit discouraged. We went to a job fair in Lanzhou together today," said Zhang Lixin, a senior student at the Northwest Normal University in Lanzhou.
"Yes, she needs romance, but what she needs most is encouragement and confidence," he added.